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BMC Farinas

Published: 22nd Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

BMC Farinas

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A60 four-cylinder versions inc MG, Riley,etc


Overhead valve (pushrod), in-line four-cylinder BMC B-Series 1622cc Single carb 61bhp, Twin carb 68bhp

Sundry items

Every 3000 miles, or annually (whichever comes first): Check the fan belt and re-tension if necessary (3/4 in. deflection at the centre of the belt run between the crankshaft and dynamo pulleys, or 1/2 in. at the centre of the run between the crankshaft and alternator pulleys). Examine the clutch operating system hydraulics for deterioration/leaks. Assess the cleanliness/security of all electrical connections; inspect all wiring for damage. Scrutinise the steering system for wear and, damage. Use SAE 90EP oil; total capacity approx. 1/2 pint. Check the security of the steering column clamp bolt. Assess the condition/security of all running gear components and suspension mounting bushes. Inspect the entire underbody for damage, and rectify paint blemishes. Every 12,000 miles, fit a new oil filler cap/filter assembly. Every 12,000 miles (on later models), check/clean the crankcase breather. Every 12,000 miles, check engine compression readings. Every 12,000 miles, assess wear in the hub bearings. Every 12,000 miles, examine the springs for damage andshock absorbers for deterioration/leaks.

Valve clearances

Inlet and exhaust, 0.015in. (cold). Adjustment is by conventional screw and locknut. Use the ‘Rule of 9’; check/adjust valve No. 1 with No. 8 fully open, No. 2 with 7 open, No. 3 with 6 open, and so on (in each case sum of valve numbers is 9). COMPRESSION PRESSURE AT CRANKING SPEED 8.0:1 compression ratio, approx. 130 p.s.i. 8.8:1 compression ratio, approx. 160 p.s.i. 9.0:1 compression ratio, approx. 170 p.s.i.

Cooling system

At all times, use top quality anti-freeze mixture containing corrosion inhibitors. Every 3000 miles/annually, check the radiator, all hoses, the water pump and the fan. At least every three years, drain the system, extricate the thermostat and reverse-flush the system prior to re-filling with fresh anti-freeze solution (observe dilution recommendations of the anti-freeze manufacturer – these are printed on the container). No need to go for top quality brews on this engine. Capacity, including heater: Approx. 10 pints.


Firing order: 1-3-4-2 (No. 1 cylinder at front of engine) Spark plugs: Champion N5 (single carb) N9Y (TC) or equivalent. Gap 0.024in. to 0.026in. Every 6000 miles or annually (whichever comes first), check and clean the plugs; renew regardless every 12,000 miles. Contact points: Gap 0.014 to 0.016in. corresponding with dwell angle reading of 60 +/- 3 degrees (Lucas 25D4 distributor), or 51 +/- 5 degrees (later examples with Lucas 45D4 distributor) Every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first): Check and clean the contact breaker points ( consider renewing the points regardless every 6000 miles). Clean and check distributor cap, rotor arm and high tension leads; ensure that all connections are sound. Distributor – mechanical aspects: Remove the rotor arm and apply a few drops of engine oil to the moving contact pivot, distributor shaft/cam bearing and mechanical advance mechanism (through apertures in the distributor’s baseplate). Apply a little grease to the distributor’s cam drive. Timing: Check/re-set, referring to the pointer on the timing case and the crankshaft pulley notch. Note: Timing settings varied according to specific version. A wide variety of settings were specified; please consult the manufacturer’s literature relevant to your vehicle for recommended settings. The following figures should be regarded as starting points. Before checking the dynamic (strobe) timing, disconnect the vacuum pipe from the distributor, and plug the pipe (remember to unplug the pipe and reconnect it on completion). Static settings: Single carb, 8 degrees BTDC; 10 degrees BTDC (TC). Dynamic (strobe) settings:12-14 degrees (depending upon model)

Fuel system

Every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first): Examine all fuel system pipework and check/top up the carburettor dashpots with SAE 20 oil. Examine/clean the filter in the S.U. electric fuel pump. After the valve clearances and all ignition settings have been checked/set, and with the engine fully warmed up, check/re-set the carburettor mixture/throttle stopsettings (use proprietary equipment for precisely balancing the carburettors). Aim for an idling speed of approximately 500 to 850 rpm but TCs can be ‘lumpy’.(Important Note: If the fuel mixture seems excessively rich after all engine/carburettor adjustments have been made, the carburettor needles and jet assemblies may be worn. Renewing ailing needle/jet will improve emissions and fuel consumption, and transform ‘driveability’). Every 6000 miles, check air filter elements and renew if visibly obstructed (renew regardless every 12,000 miles). At each service, ensure that the breather pipework is unobstructed.


At least every 3000 miles or annually, whichever comes first: Examine the front brake pads and discs, also the rear shoes, cylinders and drums (remove the drums for a complete check). Scrutinise also the brake pipes, flexible hoses and master cylinder. Renew any ailing components AT ONCE. AVOID INHALING DUST FROM THE PADS/SHOES – IT MAY CONTAIN ASBESTOS. Adjust the brake shoe to drum clearances as required (rotate the adjusters on the backplates clockwise until the brakes are locked, pump the brake pedal to centralise the shoes, then back off the adjustment until the wheel rotates without binding). Next, assess handbrake operation and re-adjust the cable length if necessary (at the lower end of the handbrake lever, below the floor). After adjustment, check that the handbrake is fully ‘on’ with the lever applied by approximately four or five ‘clicks’ of travel, and then ensure that the brakes are not binding with the lever in the ‘off’ position. At least every two years, renew the brake fluid after flushing the system through.


Engine oil: Every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first): Change the oil and filter. Use high quality, SAE15W50, 20W50 or 20W60 oil. Please dispose of the old oil in an environmentally friendly manner – local councils provide waste oil collection points. Sump capacity, including oil cooler: Approx. 7.5 pints (4.26 litres). Manual Gearbox oil: Every 3000 miles/annually (whichever comes first), check/top up the gearbox (with the car horizontal). Note: Early cars have a gearbox dipstick, reached from inside the car, after removing a rubber plug in the transmission casing. Later examples have a screw-in filler/level plug, reached from under the car. Remove the plug and check that the oil is up to the base of the threads in the filler plug aperture. Every 24,000 miles (approximately), drain the gearbox (after a long run, when the oil is fully warm), then re-fill with fresh lubricant, to the same specification as that used in the engine. Gearbox capacity: Early cars, approx 4.5 pints (2.56 litres) If overdrive is fitted, add approx. 0.75 pints (0.43 litres).
Automatic transmission fluid: Check the fluid level with the engine at normal operating temperature and idling, with the transmission control lever in ‘Park’. The fluid should be up to the ‘Max’ marking on the dipstick. Use automatic transmission fluid Type F; capacity approx. 10.5 pints (5.97 litres).
Rear axle oil: Approximately every 24,000 miles/annually (whichever comes first), remove the filler/level plug and ensure that the lubricant is up to the base of the threads in the plug aperture. Approximately every 12,000 miles, drain the axle oil after a long run, and re-fill with fresh lubricant. Use SAE90EP hypoid oil; capacity approx. 2.25 pints (1.28 litres) for early cars with ‘banjo’ type axle; approx. 1.5 pints (0.85 litres) for later examples.
Running gear: At least every 1000 miles, re-lubricate the front suspension and propeller shaft (use lithium-based, multi-purpose grease). Attend to these grease nipples: King pins (nipple at top and bottom on each side); note that some cars have an additional nipple just above the lower fulcrum pin. Propeller shaft: Early cars originally had a nipple on each universal joint (although the joints may have been replaced with ‘sealed for life’ types); all have a greasepoint on the sliding splines at the front of the shaft. Handbrake mechanical linkage: Apply fresh grease via the nipple in the cable’s outer casing. Ensure that all pivot points are properly lubricated, and that they move freely.
Front wheel bearings: Every 12,000 miles, re-lubricate the bearings with grease specifically stated as being suitable for wheel bearing use.
Other aspects: Every 3000 miles, lubricate the carburettor pivot points/controls, also the accelerator pedal pivot. Every 3000 miles, lubricate the hinges and lock mechanisms (wipe off excess lubricant).

Best Mods

  • If you want more poke then the best, most effective method is the up the engine to MG Magnette power (68bhp) or better still MGA where between 72bhp and 90bhp can offically be coaxed.
  • Logic dictates that the MGB engine is a goot worth and cheap upgrade. It is and there’s up to 95bhp on offer but it’s not the straight swap you’d envisage – unless you can get hold of one of the very early three bearing MGB engines.
  • MGB overdrive can be fitted with some grafting but fitting Ford Sierra transmission (typically £1500 as a kit) is more user friendly plus has superior ‘intermediates’ to compensate for vast second/third gap.
  • Hefty drum brakes are fitted (even to sportier MG and Riley models) and they can be made to work well after a thorough overhaul and fitting harding linings; VG95 most popular but pedal pressure is extremely high unless a servo is installed.
  • AM4 or AM8 alternatives are easier on the foot but more prone to fade. Discs can be fitted from a defunct MGA and it’s a good swap.
  • There’s not much scope for better handling apart from fitting harder dampers and having the springs stiffened and a touch of lowering, but estate springs or those from the A60 van are a cheap mod.

Top Tips

  • The front suspension requires regular lubrication to keep the swivels in good order but surprisingly few do it properly. It should be done with the weight off the car, making sure to push all the old lube out. Speak to a specialist for advice on best lubricant to use (some experts vary on their choice).
  • Lever arm dampers are prone to losing their performance early, especially cheap recon units. Although only a short term solution, on types that can be refilled (or even re-valved), you can substitute with thicker oil to renew their effectiveness; bounce on car’s corners to push old stuff out first.
  • Noisy rear suspension? It’s not unknown for the half elliptic rear springs to chatter simply caused by slackening clamps. Rear dampers are known to work loose, too.
  • Tracking has to be down with the front wheels in the dead ahead position and only after any play in the joints, steering box and idler are fixed first.
  • Tappety engines are a way of B-Series engine life, which is usually down to a worn rocker shaft rather than the cam followers (lower down in the engine).
  • Oil leak at the front of the engine? It’s the thermostat housing? Yes, it is coming from there and the remedy is to remove and clean the area, using joining sealant on reassembly to prevent lube loss.
  • Engine and gearbox mountings can wear/fail quickly leading to strange engine knocking (unit can rock excessively on start upanyway) and clutch judder.
  • At first glace the sump can’t be dropped due to the crossmember fouling. But instead of taking the engine out, release the engine and gearbox mounting and jack the ‘box up to allow sufficient clearance.
  • Bad boot lid closure is quite common but the U half of its catch is adjustable for height. The split tailagte on Travellers (estates) is hefty and can knock out hinges.

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